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German Opera

German Opera
From the Beginnings to Wagner


Part of Cambridge Studies in Opera

  • Date Published: April 2001
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521235327

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About the Authors
  • German opera from its primitive origins up to Wagner is the subject of this wide-ranging history. It traces the growth of the humble Singspiel into a vehicle for the genius of Mozart and Beethoven, together with the persistent attempts at German Grand Opera. Seventeenth-century Hamburg opera, the role of the travelling companies and Viennese Singspiel are all explored. Discussions that from early days absorbed Germans concerned for the development of a national art are followed, together with the influence of new critical thought at the start of the nineteenth century. The many operas studied are placed in their historical, social and theatrical context, and attention is paid to the literary, artistic and philosophical ideas that made them part of the country's intellectual history. Warrack assesses the contributions of Schubert, Mendelssohn and Schumann, as well as Weber and Hoffmann, among others.

    • The only historical study, in any language, of German opera of the period
    • Discusses all important (and many minor) operas of the period
    • Written by a major scholar in the field
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'It is impossible to imagine this ground being covered more expertly or succinctly.' Michael Tanner, International Record Review

    'Warrack's elegant synthesis of prior scholarship employs subtle and engaging writing … In the course of the book he retells, always clearly and often drolly, the plots of about 200 mostly little-known operas … anyone interested in German opera will learn a great deal from Warrack's welcome and accomplished study.' BBC Music

    'This latest volume in the Cambridge Studies in Opera [series] is self-recommending, but it can be commended equally to that mythical but good-hearted soul, the general reader who should be educated, diverted and made curious in about equal measure.' Opera

    'A brilliantly achieved masterpiece.' Gramophone

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2001
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521235327
    • length: 464 pages
    • dimensions: 234 x 158 x 31 mm
    • weight: 0.829kg
    • contains: 42 music examples
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of abbreviations
    Map: centres of German opera
    1. Sixteenth-century beginnings
    2. The Thirty Years War and its aftermath
    3. The Hamburg enterprise
    4. Travelling troupes and changing attitudes
    5. From the Seven Years War to the French Revolution
    6. The Viennese Singspiel
    7. Mozart's German operas
    8. From the French Revolution to the turn of the century
    9. French opera in Germany after the Revolution
    10. New critics and singers
    11. Opera in a new century: the first decade (I)
    12. Opera in a new century: the first decade (II)
    13. The growth of Romantic and grand opera
    14. Romantic opera and grand opera in the 1820s (I)
    15. Romantic opera and grand opera in the 1820s (II)
    16. Opera in the mid-nineteenth century (I)
    Opera in the mid-nineteenth century (II)
    18. Wagner
    Appendix: list of operas

  • Author

    John Warrack, University of Oxford
    John Warrack has been the Music Critic of The Sunday Telegraph and Lecturer in Music at the University of Oxford.

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